Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 537–549 | Cite as

Construing action abstractly and perceiving consonance among goal pursuits: Implications for activity substitutability and the accessibility of activity-goal links

Original Paper


Findings from five experiments show that high-level action construals, due to either increase in temporal distance or to self-regulatory mindsets, facilitate consonance among subjective evaluations of separable goal pursuits. In Experiments 1 and 2, evaluations of progress toward separable goals were more strongly related among participants in abstract-mindset and future-focus conditions than in concrete-mindset and present-focus conditions. Results of Experiments 3 and 4 were consistent with the proposal that modulating the accessibility of relations between one’s goals and one’s broader aims is the mechanism by which level of action construal impacts perceived goal correspondence. Finally, results of Experiment 5 show that viewing an activity as linked to one’s goals increases the activity’s perceived substitutability. Implications for action representation and self-concept structure are discussed.


Goal consonance Action construal The self 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyState University of New York at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA

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